GOP Will Continue Its Bid to Hold China Accountable for COVID-19: Republican Party Official

GOP Will Continue Its Bid to Hold China Accountable for COVID-19: Republican Party Official
A woman wearing a stetson and a U.S. flag mask walks through the hall as delegates begin to arrive for the first day of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Aug. 24, 2020. (Chris Carlson/Pool/Getty Images)
Frank Fang

Republicans running for seats in the November midterm elections are likely to run on a platform that seeks to hold the Chinese regime accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic, said Solomon Yue, vice chairman and CEO of the political group Republicans Overseas and national committeeman for the Oregon Republican Party.

Yue made the assessment based on the fact that the Republican National Committee (RNC) recently passed a resolution that seeks to have the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pay damages to U.S. government entities, individual Americans who have suffered financially, and those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19.
“Immediately, we will be able to support our candidates, House candidates, and Senate candidates to run on this issue, and to hold China accountable for Wuhan virus damages,” Yue told EpochTV’s “China Insider” program on Feb. 11.
The resolution denounced the Chinese regime for causing the pandemic and for a litany of wrongdoings, including the “arrest and silencing of whistleblowers,” “denial of human-to-human transmission in the face of mounting evidence,” and the “intentional continuation of international air traffic out of Wuhan.”
Wuhan, a city in central China, was the early epicenter of the pandemic when a cluster of infection cases emerged near a local wet market. Now two years later, the origins of the CCP virus, the pathogen that causes COVID-19, remain unknown, but many suspect the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)—a research facility that has researched bat coronavirus for more than a decade and is located a short drive from the wet market.
In January 2021, the U.S. State Department released a fact sheet saying it had reason to believe “several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”

The resolution reiterated previous calls by former President Donald Trump. In June 2021, Trump said China needed to pay $10 trillion in COVID reparations to the United States, adding in December 2021 that China likely owes more than $60 trillion in worldwide damages.

Yue said a key aspect of the resolution is supporting efforts by Republican lawmakers to legally change the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), a U.S. law that insulates countries from being sued in the United States except in certain circumstances.

Once the change is made, U.S. lawsuits can move forward, leading to injunctions and seizure of CCP-owned assets in the United States, according to Yue.

If and when Washington seizes CCP assets, Yue believes China would take tit-for-tat actions, including illegally seizing U.S. companies’ assets in China.

Republican lawmakers in both House and Senate proposed several bills in 2020 in an attempt to change the legal hurdles posed by FSIA, including the Civil Justice for Victims of COVID Act (S.4212) and the Stop COVID Act of 2020 (S.3592). The latter bill calls for foreign states to lose their sovereign immunity if they were found to have “intentionally or unintentionally ... discharged a biological agent ... [that] results in the bodily injury, death, or damage to [the] property of a national of the United States.”
In the United States, attorneys general in Missouri and Mississippi have filed lawsuits against the Chinese regime over its cover-up of the virus, while U.S. law firms have launched several class-action lawsuits.

The RNC resolution also supports the COVID-19 Victims Compensation Fund Act and the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the origins of the CCP virus.

“Once America succeeds [in] holding China accountable via reparations, [the] rest of the world will follow our footsteps,” Yue said.

Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers U.S., China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.